Bigotry (you win, I give up)

Deborah Swanson python at deborahswanson.net
Wed Apr 19 20:52:47 EDT 2017


> Rupee via Python-list <python-list at python.org> writes:
> 
> > I don't think stupid black people or senile old people should be 
> > allowable because those are not choosable *behaviors*. But is 
> > unable-to-learn old people a choosable behavior? You said that's ok.

I've mostly been ignoring this thread and its predecessors, and I
probably won't read all the recent posts to it.

But this bit caught my eye because I hold the opposite opinion about old
people's ability to learn.

It is a choice. Your noggin doesn't just conk out at a certain age, or
stage in the aging process. There are plenty of examples of scholars and
authors (and many others) who've kept their wits sharp and their minds
fully functional. Some till the day they died, others didn't quite last
the whole way.

There's two paths to keeping the mind forever alive ("forever" meaning
at least till death, we don't know what comes after that). Both are
almost purely physical.

One is to use the mind all one's life, and the principle is identical to
"use it or lose it", more commonly heard in athletic circles. But the
mind is like muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. And vice
versa. And I'm living proof that if you use your mind hard all your life
(since I was about 3, in my case), you can let it coast for at least a
decade and it will still be there, and it can still learn. Of course
there's a lengthy stage of bringing it out of mothballs, but it can be
done. 

The other path I'm living proof of is the food you eat. The brain
responds badly to chemicals that enter the body, and particularly ones
you ingest in food. And the brain is blood thirsty. It particularly
craves grassfed and pastured red meat, the rarer the better, and organ
meats. I eat all forms of it, but the prize goes to wild red meats -
antelope, venison & wild boar. I'll spare you all the reasons why and
the evidence, but they are very good reasons.

I've also had university math and science professors who swore by heavy
daily exercise regimes, but I haven't done it and neither have aged
scholars who still had their good minds very late in life, so rigorous
exercise is not a requirement. I have no idea whether it's sufficient to
sustain and grow the mind either, but no doubt it helps.

So, it is a choice of how you live your life, and how important it is to
you to have a mind worth keeping. I see no reason to accord those people
who didn't care all their lives any special status.

Oh, and I think it's also a choice whether you are stupid or not,
barring physical abnormalities of the brain. Regardless of age, gender
or race.



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